EAST LANSING, Mich. — It started with a 911 call from a woman who said she didn't know where she was, claiming she was being assaulted with a knife.
That led East Lansing Police officers to Najeem Naseer at Deerpath Apartments, and it ended with Naseer in handcuffs, charged with first degree criminal sexual conduct.
Though charges were later dropped, that's not where this story ends.
Last month, Naseer filed a federal lawsuit against city officials and police for false arrest and imprisonment, racial discrimination, slander and other claims.
According to court records, the woman who called 911 on Dec. 12, 2020, was a former sex-worker who had gone to Naseer's apartment after he told her he had money for her, which she understood to be payment for sex, and liquor.
She told police that the intercourse became too rough for her and she asked Naseer to stop and he did each time she asked.
It is unclear why she called 911, but it was later determined that she was intoxicated with a blood alcohol level of 0.16. She later told police she had made a mistake and did not wish to press charges.
Court records say reports from the officers at the scene differ. Though all agreed that the woman was half-dressed and hysterical, one officer says the knife was beside the bed while two others claim it was under Naseer.
Sergeant Jeff Thomas was the only one who claimed he witnessed sexual intercourse.
Naseer was arrested and taken to the Ingham County Jail. Two days later, on Dec. 14, 2020, East Lansing Police issued a press release with Naseer's name and mugshot, which said officers had stopped an assault.
That same day, Naseer was arraigned on felony charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping, assault with intent to do great bodily harm and assault with a dangerous weapon. He was in jail for about two weeks before he posted bond.
On Feb. 17, 2021, all charges against Naseer were dismissed by Judge Andrea Larkin at the request of the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office.
More than one year later on April 29, Naseer filed a federal suit against city officials, claiming that his "unlawful deprivation of liberty" and the "damage done to his reputation among his community" has caused him to suffer extreme emotional distress.
Naseer is suing the city for 14 things, which include slander, illegal search, false arrest, false imprisonment, invasion of privacy and racial discrimination. He is demanding a jury trial.
Naseer's attorney, Dustyn Cootz, said he can't talk about this case, and the city's attorney, Anthony Chubb, said the city hasn't yet received anything concerning the case but, regardless, he is unable to talk about pending litigation.
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